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Employers Take Active Role in Promoting Workplace Wellness
Date:7/14/2008

Major employers join with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to promote workplace wellness programs and incentivize healthier behavior

WASHINGTON, July 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recognizing that chronic illness accounts for 75 percent of healthcare spending, many employers are taking a "hands on" approach to improving employee health and wellness by promoting programs that address smoking, obesity, and disease prevention and management. At a press briefing this morning hosted by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), representatives from Food Lion LLC, DTE Energy, and the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) discussed employee engagement in workplace wellness programs that drive healthier behaviors and control costs.

In conjunction with the briefing, BCBSA also released a new report, Engaging Consumers @ Work (EC@W), that found workplace education and activation programs can increase worker participation in wellness programs by 21 percent or more -- suggesting big dividends for employers who invest in these programs.

"Employers are drivers of innovation. More than 160 million people get their health coverage through their job and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are collaborating with employers across the country to help them achieve their goal of a healthy workforce," said Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and CEO. "Employers play a critical role in employee wellness and they have been aggressive in developing innovative ways to improve quality, reduce costs, and keep employees healthy."

The NBGH, Food Lion and DTE Energy will join the Blue Care Network of Michigan and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina later today to take their message to Capitol Hill and brief congressional staff and others about their collaboration on workplace wellness programs.

Pat Fulcher, vice president of associate services for Food Lion, described their collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North C
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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